Sunday, October 2, 2022

Comments by rasselas.redux

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  • They couldn’t find a discernible difference because the technology to do so does not yet exist. It may never exist.

    What is the correct brain that we should be measuring other brains against? Most would snap back without thinking it through that a correct brain would be owned by a non-depressed person.

    Non-depressed where? Probably on a campus at a wealthy University in the West.

    And then what would that prove?

    Well, no-one dare say lest they come across as a bit of a Communist.

    So what shall we say instead? Anything other than that all depressed and non-depressed brains appear to be much the same according to current technologies because everyone is fundamentally, deep-down, depressed. Some have found ways to hide, mask and avoid their deep-down depression. They are then chosen to control the machines to scan the people that have lost or never gained the ability to hide or mask their depression.

    Sensibly, what depressed people truly need — and probably all of the planet needs too — is for all of the non-depressed people to give up their masks and allow themselves to be depressed too.

    What kind of fool is able to maintain a sense of happiness and inner peace in times like these?

  • “In the case of emotional, cognitive, and behavioral issues triggered by pollution, industry and government (not psychiatrists) have the major role–and responsibility–here. Namely, to ensure everyone has clean air and water.”

    All sensible persons agree with this statement. Many of them will then jump into their car for a short crisp zippy pop to the local store. Upon returning they will accept a delivery for an item they could have picked up, for a little extra, at a local store while they were out. That weekend it’ll become very hot and they’ll turn the sprinklers on the lawn for 6 hours. Afterwards spraying the borders with bio-poisons. Almost all of the clothes they wear will contain oil derivatives. Every day their personal lifetime disposable plastic mountain will reach a new record peak. And there will always be ten reasons not to change,

  • Thanks for introducing me to the new idiom “you do you” which seems to want to hang out with “it is what it is”. As a quick aside you dont do you as much as probably hoped. So much is mimicry. mirroring, copying, conforming, following trends, fitting in… others do you is more honest much of the time.

    That’s one reason that ssri drug use is so popular. Others do you. So pop the pills and fall in line with the social norn.

    You refuse the drugs and accompanying narratives? Then we’ll properly get to work on doing you. We’ll other you as a conspiracy nut, antipsychiatry, antiscience. Anti-us!

    It’s true that any person doing drugs that alter consciousness can claim the ritual as personally beneficial. However, it gets said that the loner drug user is on a path to destruction. That it is healthier to drug with others. In bars, private members clubs, and crack dens.

    GPs tried to resist doing the dirty work of psychiatry but after the closure of the asylums and the movement of the mad back to society, there was first a demand from society that the mad were drugged, for health and safety and jason vorhees reasons, and then later bizarely from pressure groups comprised of the mad themselves. And so gradually over many decades GPs became relucantly and then feverishly frontline drug pushers.

    Ask any so-called healer how much ego boost they get from exploiting the placebo effect and most will lie and claim none.

    When reallythe placebo effect is the name of the game and the ego boost is the addicting sauce and it is most intense when others are doing you and you want it so bad you’re willing to see any face looking back at you in the mirror so long as it isn’t frowning.

    When I first resisted SSRIs the GPs were still cynical, openly, about psychiatry as a legitimate medicine and would at times steer lost souls away. So back then it was easier because smart and respectable and kind and honest GPs would back you up, even if only privately. Fast forward to now and everyone is frightened of career ending honesty, or more often, has fallen under the social spell of bullshit.

    Never forget that patient pressure played a big role in sewing up mouths against speaking openly and honestly about SSRIs.

    It is a peculiar reality that others make for us.

  • Well well so things go wrong for some despite good intentions well well.

    I love cycling and truly it is transformative and every day some hapless well intentioned soul is brutally killed in pursuit of cycling highs and so, what must the living do… tremble?

    Shrooms do the business for many. A few perish.

    Most probably should avoid the sham aka shaman.

    In life there are certain bodily functions only you can perform.

    Would you trust someone who offered to go toilet for you, for an agreed fee?

    Yet you’ll trust a therapist?

  • It’s one of those “you’ll know it when you see it”‘s.

    The problem of language and defining terms enjoys a resurgence every ten years or so and these fundamental questions are being re-asked in all fields of science. Again.

    There are no resolving answers. How can there be?

    Each generation must be reminded of the unknown and humbled.

  • @Steve, Thank you and yes please provide my details to boans.

    @The Mad in America editorial team… Please cover the Diego Maradona trial, in which three doctors, a psychiatrist and two nurses stand accused of his death.

    @ boans… I have some form reacting to surveillance and while it is nowhere near what you’ve been embroiled in, it’s enough to enable me to have some sympathy with your plight. look forward to hearing from you.

  • Hi boans

    Years ago I helped an old man get his thoughts down into a book form that he could self-publish and offer to his family as he was facing death. That was difficult enough.

    Your story is intense, really very intense, and I do not doubt the torment you’ve suffered and go on suffering to be heard.

    I’m not a journalist or a professional writer but I do have some rudimentary understandings about organisation of words and I’m willing to offer you some help to get your story down. I recognise it would be a significant task.

    And that you’d want a lot of z’s where I want s’s.

    Let me know what you think.

  • What I learnt — finally, after many mistakes — is if I rub people up the wrong way, now and again, one of them is going to be in a position to do some serious damage to me psychologically, and this has happened, a number of times. Particularly if I’ve set out on some kind of moral crusade, whisteblowing, exposing wrongdoing. To this day my character is blighted by innuendo, lies, false accusations, malicious gossip. Some people are very connected and they can wield insidious power, with a smug grin on their face.

    We can all be manipulated, even dogs can, to end up displaying the coarser sides of our characters and then it’s “I told you so.”

    The tricky part is to recognise it’s happening, tread knowingly and carefully, and not be the mouse that gets trapped.

    This becomes far more difficult if your frontal lobes have been damaged by antipsychotics. Difficult, not impossible, but very difficult.

    Wishing you the best,.

  • Unconscionable enablers.

    So long as the ad revenue is pouring in, they don’t give a monkeys.

    Paedophile grooming, misogyny, far right extremism.. These platforms are repeatedly at the forefront of social ills, over and over, the only pushback coming from people of conscience.

    There needs to be a pushback against the social platforms that are now the enablers of off-label psychiatric drug use, at the very least.

    By their own definition, off label is non-medical, non-evidenced, AKA drug abuse.

    And these platforms are enabling the current frenzy of psychiatric drug abuse, the normalisation of it by self-appointed amateur experts although, of course, the irony is that some random on a social network site, with a modicum of intelligence, can quite straightforwardly mimic the drug expertise of a psychiatrist.

    It’s not exactly rocket science to drug someone up.

  • About 5 years ago critical psychiatrists were saying that lithium showed very little efficacy, in the sense of lengthening periods between major highs and major lows only by a little bit.

    Given the serious harm it does to the body I’m not sure that a “little bit” of success is something to get carried away with, is it?

    Unless I missed something?

  • Use of antidepressants and benzos is sadly quite high in some centres for dogs, I’ve learnt. These scandals just seem to be spilling all over the place. It’s exasperating.

    I was just about to reply because I don’t think I agree with my pessimism again.

    You often hear the much repeated line “just gotta find the right drug” and I think, more and more, it’s often really the case of someone needing to find the right person, or the right person in the right situation, for healing to occur.

    Same with dogs. There were 3 people before me who backed out and gave in on the bully. He was a handful! But we made a good match for him, our home situation, it all fell into place.

    So I am probably wrong about people or dogs being irredeemable. It might just be a sad outcome because they didn’t find the right person and situation that was a good fit.

    A lot depends on luck in life.

    Then again, there aren’t many people capable of being as forgiving as a dog.

  • Thanks. I will be keeping an eye out for your album.

    The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia is a thought-provoking work by Johnson and definitely worth a read. If you are okay with non-paper reading it’s long out of copyright and available on

    If you I enjoy that text I’d recommend you read Candide by Voltaire. It covers a lot of similar ground and has a lot more humour.

    Best wishes.

  • I’ve taken on behaviourally challenging dogs as I found I have some kind of gift at helping them. These are big, strong dogs that in the institution, the rescue centre, become a source of fear and apprehension, which is self-perpetuating. This can result in a classic vicious circle in which the dog becomes trapped, and angry about being trapped, leading to the likelihood of remaining trapped.

    Currently I have an American bulldog. He was nearing the point of being unreleasable and a permanent guest at the rescue centre.

    It has taken only a few months to totally transform him. He is now a very relaxed, loving, kind and freely expressing dog and is growing every day.

    I support the creation of places of sanctuary for people suffering problems of interpersonal conflict, aggressiveness and tendency towards violence. However, I do not think people can be healed like a dog can. People are just so incredibly more complex.

    I don’t mean that people can’t heal; I mean that a sanctuary that forbade violent conflict and aggresiveness could only succeed if it excluded a core group of people who were, in fact, irredeemably violent and aggressive.

    There are irredeemable people. Likewise there are irredeemable dogs.

  • 300 or so years is a long time in the history of any word, including “happiness”

    Happiness, in a modern sense, bears pretty much no relation to the happiness referred to in the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson’s use is implying a life of moral virtue. Happiness these days is definitely not about the pursuit of moral virtue.

    This is why, some claim, so many people are unhappy. At the heart of their unhappiness is an immorality, a selfishness, a corrupt individualism, which inevitably leaves them cold, bitter, angry, unsatisfied, and amiss.

    These days the pursuit of happiness is equated with the pursuit of things, of consuming, of lasciviousness, of fakery. It is the pursuit of attention, of approval, of wealth, of fame, of oneupmanship, of all the worldly things that come to nothing, bring a person to nothing more than some illusion in someone elses’ eyes.

    Antidepressants, opioids, benzos, alcohol, cocaine and so on, are the medical treatments for the modern pursuit of happiness, that is really the pursuit of nihilistic self-obsession dressed up as moral virtue.

    That is why in any survey you care to ponder, people equate wealth with moral virtue.

    The best antidepressant is the one which knocks out all thoughts which might open the mind to pondering the above, and what comes next.

    We know they are working, psychiatry is working wonders. Because the majority of people consider the status quo to be healthy, good, and virtuous.

  • The first essay built a straw man and then castigated it. This essay adds a few additional startlingly crass phrases, kinda sprays some punk graffiti on the straw man…

    My favourite (not the appropriate word) is:

    “If I don’t know how to dance the Tango, is it reasonable to say that I am disabled?”

    I suggest the author spends a little time coming to terms with what a psychosocial disability is, how the psychosocial model of disability differs from the medical model, what it aims to achieve (and what is has already achieved), why the impetus must continue in the direction of increased acknowledgement of psychosocial disability, and finally why psychosocial disability must ultimately attain full equivalence with disability, and not remain as a sub-category.

    In all the countries where psychosocial disability is not afforded full human rights, people suffer unspeakable abuses and agonies. In the countries where people with psychosocial disability are afforded partial or conditional human rights, their suffering and their agonies are still apparent, but overall lessened. Thus the push for unity and the solidarity with disability human rights activists is essential and must not be undermined.

    In the countries where no disability is recognised at all, and people are treated as having no psychosocial disadvantages or impairments, people are treated very badly, very harshly, very inhumanely.

    I do not understand the resistance to humanely acknowledging psychosocial disability, and modeling/remodeling the world in a way that embraces disability and makes accommodations and adjustment and fundamental design choices, in order that a substantial minority are not marginalised, tormented, dehumanised, and compelled to suffer way more than they otherwise would.

    I get no feeling from Mr Ruby that he understands psychosocial disability, has much knowledge of disability history and the human rights struggle, or much awareness of what struggles stigma and discrimination bring about in a person’s life.

    Getting rid of the medical model and labels will not rid the world of the othering of mad people. You can keep the medical model, be done with it, or keep it or be done with it and bring in a therapy model… no matter, because whatever approach, people with certain psychosocial disabilities will be persecuted, discriminated against, aggressed against, maligned, ghettoised, and so on… such that the struggle for human rights will go on, despite attacks and distractions and attempts at belittling and undermining, the struggle for full human rights for people with psychosocial disabilities will endure.

  • Good to see some honesty about the absolute mess that is psychiatric research. A steaming toxic dump of unintended consequences. Still somehow millions are being ploughed into genetic research that will eradicate madness from the Earth.

    The difficult part is coming to terms with your own personal take on madness, your own sub-routines which link in and branch off. And then locating your personal madness within a broad historical trend of cultural insanity. There are legitimate and sensible reasons why most people put a lot of energy and effort into avoiding that process.

    Fun also to see that naughty word “pollutant” being used metaphorically, while at the same time lots of good, legitimate science is revealing that a lot of mental illness might be better described as environmental illness or climate illness or diet illness, as unaccountable suffering and agony is no doubt being caused by the polluted air we breathe, the polluted soils and the polluted food chains and the polluted rains and the polluted rivers that flow into the polluted seas.

    But hey, let’s not be too pessimistic about all this. We’ve got 5 years to turn all this around. It simply requires science, positive thinking, setting personal vanity goals, and finding new and inventive ways to distract oneself from one’s self.

    It’s going to be okay because it has to be okay. Keep crunching the numbers, popping the pills or resisting the pills. At some point it will all somehow resolve itself, magically.

    It’s why psychiatry does so well, despite all the many shortcomings. It offers a straight face to magical thinking and the belief that the apocalyptic “soul” of human beings can be resolved, long-term, with careful thinking and sustained determined effort.

  • I know what you mean.

    Lots of people in psychosis (and not in psychosis) these days have ongoing anxieties and agonies about violating surveillance, particularly via hidden cameras.

    Those regional Mental Health Trusts that *did* disclose about technology in rooms were open about the use of vital signs detectors. And the majority of in-patients were okay with that deployment. I expect not just to save lives of the suicidal or severely self-harming, but also to hopefully intervene in other serious medical events induced by the drugs, like heart failure.

    What none of them disclosed was that they had also installed hidden spy cameras in the bedrooms.

    I expect the rationale there would be that it wasn’t in the patients’ interests because most people (other than, probably, exhibitionists) don’t approve of hidden cameras in their bedrooms, whether in a hospital or at home or anywhere.

    Most people (that would be sane people) would agree that hidden cameras in bedrooms were not acceptable in any context. Unless perhaps to detect a serious crime that was occurring in that room only.

    The police have been using the same systems in their holding cells but a holding cell isn’t a place in which there is an expectation of privacy, other than the toilet area, if there is one.

    20 years ago this story would be far more shocking. But in many peoples’ mind the Right to Privacy is an eroded right, a right that has been undermined and devalued.

    Some people say that the loss of one fundamental right is the beginning of the erosion of all rights.

    For the psychosocially disabled, it’s not so much an erosion of rights but a clear example of how some rights are assumed to be non-fundamental for specific devalued groups.

    One by one my suspicions are being revealed as true. Although I doubt all of them will be. Or maybe that’s more of a hope than a doubt.

  • Yes, Steve. Anything can be rationalised.

    Makes me wonder how many violated people have been invited into these Open Dialogues and passive-aggressively demeaned about their “suspicious feelings”…

    The problem is that the mental health system is legally a subdivision of the criminal justice system. And since the year 2000 powers to violate and voyeur upon a person have been normalised. So someone comes along with depression and a desire to re-find their way in life and their faith in others, and behind those friendly smiles they’ll be sniffing through their email history and checking out their online habits. Just in case, you know, they might be a serious criminal.

    There have been scandals in which staff plant cameras on staff, in toilets particularly, and the horror expressed, the disbelief, the rage… and the court case that follows.

    It is truly a sick and broken world.

  • Interestingly, no reaction from the commentariat.

    I raised the issue of violation of human rights/voyeurism of patients a number of years ago. Funnily enough, the Trust that would neither confirm nor deny and instead called me out for paranoia and personality defects, have been revealed to be on this list of violators/voyeurs.

    No surprises but these violations go much deeper, way deeper. This is the tip of the iceberg.

  • It would be fascinating for you to point to the time when you believe the world was non-mad, or not “gone mad” or not “going mad”.

    As far as I can tell, the world has never been anything but mad. Utterly insane. And the places and peoples that are most insistent and at turns supercilious about their non-madness compared to all others turn out to be, under closer inspection, the maddest of them all.

  • @John1963

    It doesn’t matter how far you sink your trembling head into that bucket of excrement, you will come out stinking of excrement.

    As I said, it is time for these bullyboys and these numbskulls to shut up and join up with their local Eco-Marxist revolutionary Co-op, and fight for the very air that they breathe.

    Individualists of the world disunite.

  • “If you really want to solve these issues, you first need to listen. Listen to the poor, listen to the guy who fixes your plumbing, listen to the waitress who serves you coffee. ”

    The guy who fixes my plumbing blames the non-white migrants for everything. Mention Marx, he’ll punch your lights out. The waitress who serves me coffee spends all of her spare time taking photos of herself, editing them, and then uploading them to Instagram. Mention Marx, she’ll ask you for his social media details. What the alienated people want more than anything, is more of the same, forever. They want to increase their spending power, so they can consume more. They want tokenistic solutions to ecological disaster, like planting a few trees and putting their discarded fast fashions into plastic bags for men in white vans to take away. They do not want to fundamentally change the system, because that would mean fundamentally changing themselves, maybe even finding themselves for the first time in their lives. I do not wish to listen to these people. It is time for them to shut their mouths. It is time for them to listen.

    But, there are plumbers who are fighting back against their alienation, waitresses and housewives who are seeing that direct action is the only way. They are joining with radical Eco-Marxist groups to bring the fight to the billionaires and the globalists that are destroying them, their communities and the planet and keeping people in ignorance with endless and pointless distractions.

  • Kind and too kind are two kinds of kindness.

    We must strive to be kind but hesitate to be too kind. The warm hand and the cold boot.

    Acceptance and radical acceptance are two kinds of acceptance. If we were all to radically accept, then the cold boot would dominate. All totalitarian regimes stand as lived examples of widescale radical acceptance.

    Acceptance is enough, but can be more than enough. In fact, it is more than enough, in most examples. This is why only very relatively miniscule numbers of people are engaged in efforts towards active and actual social change and most people do not accept them, they resist them, maybe even radically resist them.

    Radical resistance to social change.

    What we need is heaps more radical unacceptance. Even a little bit of plain old simple unacceptance would be enough.

    I accept the things I cannot change because it makes life much easier for me and change is hard, maybe the hardest of all. Also, what about my creature comforts and the decadent lifestyle habits I’m dependent upon for my sanity?

    Give me convenience or give me death.

    “People are off balance because society is off balance.”

    People are off balance because people are off balance. THis includes psychotherapists. They are also off balance, all of them. Every society throughout all of time demonstrates how off balance people were at that time. And all of them were off balance. Why doesn’t society find balance? Because people don’t have a balance to achieve. Soon as anyone, without exception, considers themselves to have found balance (putting aside the alarming personal biases and delusions that could even lead to such a conclusion) they will be jolted and tossed and thrown asunder by the random, the unforseen, the unaccounatable, the unimaginable, the horrible, the unforgiveable, the lamentable, the ridiculous and absurd. And so on. It’s a long list. Very, very long indeed.

    What we need way more than synthetic relationships are organic (what a word!) relationships, real, actual, non-monetised, non-codified, non-manipulative (or openly manipulative, who can say?) human relationships.

    But not rightwing ones. They are not authentic.

    They must be Green and Marxist, Eco-Marxist, Eco-Left. And they must be real and genuine, so they must also be beautifully and honestly pessimistic, and deeply, honourably cynical, and unfashionably, wonderfully rude and antagonistic, impatient, impertinent, derogatory and foul-mouthed.

    Otherwise, why bother?

  • Even subjectively determining schizophrenia is flawed. as you know. A lot of real world evidence of diagnosing is suppressed (as you also know!) but it would make for fascinating reading to be able to look at the data and see things like: what percentages of people have been multiply diagnosed before and after their schizophrenia diagnosis; what happened to bring about the diagnosis; how many other diagnoses the person had before schizophrenia; how many diagnoses they had after.

    Also an interesting one would be how many people who achieved non-relapsing recovery from schizophrenia by rejecting conventional drug treatments, were then rediagnosed with a personality disorder.

    The gene studies of schizophrenia appear to assume that a diagnosis meets some kind of gold standard. I know that you know that too.

  • The stigma of schizophrenia begins with terrible acts and behaviours committed by some people with schizophrenia.

    What follows is that everyone identified as having schizophrenia then carries the cross for those bad deeds, even though they didn’t commit those deeds themselves.

    To suggest that a change of noun combined with a bigger dragnet (via the notion of a spectrum of disorders, rather than one) will reduce stigma is bizarre, unless you think stigma can be diluted like a bad taste.

    A much better solution would be to have one noun for people who have committed bad deeds and another noun for people who have not committed bad deeds.

    That way only the people who have committed the bad deeds must carry the cross for those deeds.

    That is why we have multiple nouns for criminals. A murderer criminal and a thief criminal are all on the spectrum of criminality, but we do not insist that a minor theft criminal should be given the same noun as a rapist criminal, even though they are all on the criminal spectrum.

    Why should a petty thief carry the cross for a rapist?

    Schizophrenia studies have become so confused and lacking any scientifically valid basis it’s no wonder really we’re in such a mess and that genuinely sincere people come along with straight faces suggesting new nouns are the way ahead out of a surreal maelstrom they have stonefacedly co-created.

  • I don’t know the equivalent laws in the USA and elsewhere, but no doubt they have them. And where they don’t. human rights and disability activists are pushing hard for them.

    I’ve mentioned already the CRPD. In the UK we also have the Equality Act 2010. That has advanced disability rights significantly too.

    Disablism is rife in all areas of life, including within disability groups. Disablist policies and practices and incidents and individuals must be challenged for progress to be made.

  • Arguably the greatest achievement in the history of mad disabled and physically disabled people in all time is the Convention on the Rights of People With Disabilities (CRPD).

    The CRPD came about through the solidarity of all disabled peoples the world over and is inclusive, making exactly the same demands of every nation state for all its disabled people.

    Rejection of disability, both as an identity and an opportunity for activism, is holding the mad disabled movements back. And it is almost entirely a disablist motivation. The rejection of solidarity.

  • This is an interestingly disablist article and I thank Lisa Archibald for writing it, if only because it illuminates the deep disablist prejudices that run deep through many contemporary so-called “mad” activists.

    There is a disturbing subtext to the rejection of disability, which is basically a refusal to be aligned with those comrades with physical disabilities. And yet these are the only people on this Earth that know and live and suffer under the Othering that we do too.

    “O, I’m not like that!” certain sections speak of one another, “I’m not one of them.”

    Irony being that all mad activists are able to be mad activists because of the triumphs of disability activists, who have helped bring about huge moves in human rights and social and economic concessions.

    It is the refusal of disability that holds some back.

    Also one major flaw of Judi Chamberlin and other activists is that they run deep with injustices made against them, but fall silent about the injustices against others that originate from their own manors.

    Why can’t we be more honest about that?

  • “I am anti-drug in my basic approach to life.”

    No caffeine. No aspartame or other synthetic sweeteners. No white sugar or processed sugars. No alcohol. No nicotine. And if you are true to your ethic, then almost all food will be denied by you too, as it is psychoactive. Wow. Ascetics are hard to come by these days so I type in sincere awe.

    How do you approach the fact that your brain and body are constantly producing drugs, many of which are prohibited narcotics when produced outside the body? How do you approach the fact that you are fundamentally a drug-induced being?

    Is your anti-drug approach to life, anti-life?

    Asking for a friend…

  • There are people who have been so damaged by some of the mainstays of mainstream psychiatric drugging that they can no longer experience the fullness of human joy or sorrow, the fullness of human laughter or remorse, the fullness of human love or hate.

    They are permanently numbed. Permanently mediocre in their emotional and experiential range

    Many too have been physically damaged by the mainstays of psychiatric drugging and so it is, in many instances, another cruelty to recommend they go find their healing in a gym, a wood, or by involving themselves in extreme sports.

    Allowing sensible prescriptions of psychedelics is to allow an olive branch to people who would otherwise live the remainder of their life in drug-damage-induced mundanity, never again to know euphoric joy, euphoric connection, euphoric release.

    Why should the manics and the manics alone have all the fun?

    On that level, I condone the entrance of these drugs into the psychiatric armamentorium, if only as a form of compensation to those millions permanently nullified by SSRIs, neuroleptics, benzos and so on.

    Some people deserve a high after all they’ve been through. Also, for this to happen without all the claptrap of the New Age, is very welcome too. Sometimes pseudoscientific speculations are a refreshing break from the spiritual bullshitters.

    Bad trips are quite rare, so no need to overstate them or play mock-horrified at the thought of people suffering them. Most people that see or feel bad things simply need to be encouraged to change their focus. Low doses of these hallucinogens aren’t going to send anyone to the moon.

    A pleasant trip from time to time is perfectly healthy and will definitely help people stuck in a rut. These natural agents have been under our noses for a long time and it’s good to see people finally overcoming their phobias and biases and recognising that sensible doses of hallucinogens can form part of some peoples’ health maintenance routines.

  • Fiachra wrote; “Within Peer Groups I have seen people openly and willingly discuss the most traumatic experiences imaginable.

    The reason Peers can volunteer to discuss very deep personal experiences is because they have ‘permission’ to discuss them, and they know that they are in a suitable place to do so.”

    There are people who overshare without even realising. There are people who overshare and realise they are doing it and enjoy it and think it’s normal. And there are people who overshare because they are in an explotative dynamic and they don’t realise their mistake until its too late.

    I suppose certain groups form to facilitate oversharing and sometimes these groups will become quite intense and overwhelming.

    MDMA though is more of an emotional and physical/sensual/sexual experience.

  • “Jeffrey Mousseif Masson was clear in his book, Against Therapy, we do not need therapy or psychiatrists, we need understanding friends/communities and to stay away from toxic people and situations, and drugs.”

    I agree that it’s a good idea to keep away from toxic people. However, I consider all people to be toxic in some way or other. So, it isn’t really achievable to avoid toxic people.

    Also, toxic people are often the very people that need the most help from others.

    How do toxic people detoxify if everyone is legging it away from them?

    MDMA is wonderful in the sense that even very toxic people, or people going through a toxic stage, will be transformed by it into smiley, happy, empathic, loving, groovey-eyed and gushy grinners. Which in itself is an answer to the problem: if we must avoid toxic people how do toxic people get help?


  • It’s encouraging to witness pseudoscience and hardcore woo infiltrating the psychologies.

    EMDR is a kind of secular faith healing.

    One can also perform magical ritiuals at home without making a pilgrimage to Lourdes or the psychologist’s office.

    Faith Healing works for the people that want it to work and the occasional sceptic that also wants it to work but insists that it can’t.

    Others write here occasionally offering up their own take on faith healing, and really it’s one performance utilising different costumes and props.

    The placebo effect is a massive money-spinner. I can empathise with the temptation to dress up as a wizard or dress down as a suited professional and play up to an imagined audience. The healing professions attract some very colourful characters. Overall their heart is in the right place.

    Maybe it is time to do away with all of medicine and just have people darting their eyes around.

  • “Sounds an awful lot like a ‘schizophrenic’ breakdown, doesn’t it?”


    “And how does one account for the fact that the percentage of ‘schizophrenics’ in our society (about one in one hundred) is roughly equal to the percentage of shamans in today’s remaining tribal societies?”

    One in a hundred schizophrenics in our society is not a fact, it’s an oft-repeated fiction.

  • “Dependence on anything is never good.”

    Other than water, dependence on water. Which is a psychoactive. And oxygen, a psychoactive. Food, most of which is psychoactive. All essential dependencies.

    Then, for many people, who self-define as social beings, there is the dependence on others, on being allied and connected to other social beings, and being dependent on it. And that being essential and good.

    Dependence on love, loving and being loved. Witnessing love. And it is widely known, that love is a drug. Can’t you see? Love is the drug that I’m thinking of.

    Humans are dependent and addiction-formin beings.

    It is a mistake to make a taboo of dependence. Everyone is a myriad of dependencies and addictions.

    Map out your dependencies and you’ll map out a vague shadow of your being. Colour that map with your addictions and you’ll add body to that shadow. And it’s shifting, always, as the sun rises and falls and your being contorts and distorts.

    Anne Guy speaks a lot of sense about dependencies and addictions and the problems of withdrawal from any dependency, and the need for the pain of suffering of prescribed drug withdrawal to be acknowleded, and if needs be, supported.

    People need support to find new dependencies and new addictions and to broaden their experience of dependence and addiction, to make a lifelong commitment to psychoactive variance,

  • People do think sluggishly. We all do at times.


    Excuse the caps, it was a mis-hit but I LEFT IT there for effect.

    Without sluggish thinking we’d have big problems on our hands. The far right and the far left would be existentially threatened.


    Again that was an unintended caps-on but looks aesthetically brilliant,

    Follow the slime trail and trace it back to the sluggish thinker or the sluggish thought.

    Slugs themselves simply rest upon the vibrant living thing and absorb its energy.

  • A revolution is indeed an alternative.

    Which revolution would you prefer?

    And then what will be the outcome of your preferred revolution? Will it resemble your ideals, or more something else?

    The End of the World is a beautiful revolutionary beginning.

    Maybe not for us, but some other being.

    We must not be envious or spiteful towards those beings that inherit the earth. If they also succeed, they will also dismally fail.

    And if enough time lapses between success and failure then worry not, for along comes the unexpected apocalyptic event no-one bargained for, or was willing to endorse.

    Be kind as often and for as long as you can. For as long as there is bread enough to share.

    And live in hope that you will not live in a time when cruelty is the only way to get through a day.

  • Just to add that Peterson attracts a predominantly “male”/”toxic masculinity” following that is deeply conservative, deeply phobic of gender fludity, and deeply anxious about women and sex. Some proportion of his audience, the most “hatey”, themselves have secret hidden issues around gender and sexuality. Some of them find the strength they need away from the toxicity Peterson attracts and foments. He helps these people “reclaim their life” only as people who have recovered from cancer often do. And there are much better more civilised ways of reclaiming life than succumbing to cancer, most will agree.

  • All these life gurus with assertive advice about how to live right and be the master of your own ship are eventually exposed as full of shit.

    First time I encountered Peterson I was astounded by the postmodern approach he took to all the sciences and religion and weaving them togther arbitrarily, poeteically even… and then in the next breath choking out weird critiques of “cultural marxism” and postmodernism.

    Osho was another life guru with a benzo addiction.

    Maybe a rule of thumb is the more someone purports to have the answers to life’s problems for others, the less they are able to deal with their own. And then the fame they attain fooling their audience become the legitimacy.

    I don’t know. I haven’t read his Rules for Rightwing Life, or his new one, Beyond Ordure. And have only watched one of his videos in full. The one where he debated Zizek became Zizek being very polite and not tackling the pretentious weirdo who hadn’t got a clue what marxism or postmodernism was, but had strong feelings about it, and also had strong feelings about people having strong feelings. So I turned that one off, more annoyed with Zizek than anything.

    Life is hard. Upfront strong-man Nietzschean types are almost always weak-kneed and trembling inside. Their outward arrogance is an overcompensation. Most men do at least a bit of this in their life. It is part of the expectation of being a man.

    And so, under the pressure of our own self-pressuring to be the rock of gibralter, we tend towards secret vices to deal with our inability to deal with things.

    Women do too, I know… but it’s a different dynamic.

  • Thanks to Thomas Teo.

    During Covid I’ve been struck by how often the phrase “well, they were going to die anyway” has been uttered, especially by people I’d normally hear fighting for the reverse. This in reference to the old, the diseased, in hospices, in hospitals, in residential homes, in care homes.

    Everyone is going to die anyway.

    In times of existential dread, there is a scramble for the lifeboat. The people that make it witness unspeakable acts of cruelty.

  • Everybody Lies: “Smoking is not healthy period? It is, if you are taking antipsychotics. It reduces the negative impact of neuroleptics by up to 50%. It’s a survival mechanism.”

    Well that’s the finding of a poorly designed study that gives science a bad name.

    What is actually being discovered?

    That stimulating the brain’s nicotinergic system clearly affects the brain’s dopaminergic system?

    Or that both neuroleptic drugs and nicotine-drugs affect multiple brain systems.

    How much sugar were the study particpants consuming? Aspartame? Environmental pollutants?

    Generally there are no reliable ways to control these variables without quite massive studies involving millions at the very least.

    So let’s just play pretend with 75 people who we’ll cherry pick with one beady eye on the desired outcome…

  • Everybody Lies wrote: “What makes you say coming off street drugs is easier than pharmaceuticals. You’re also saying that coming off psychiatric drugs is disastrous. Better to stay on them then? Oh, the anxiety, it’s just too much. Poor me.”

    The drug most people suffer from and consistently fail to come off is processed non-nutritious sugar. It’s normalised and all-pervasive and very difficult to avoid but devastatingly dependence forming.

    More than any other drug it kills, induces diseases, fucks up the brain, all the major organs, the moods, sleep, the blood, trains people to be impulsive and instant-gratification morons.

    But putting aside the many drugs we do not culturally accept as drugs despite the fact they are drugs…

    It is arguably easier to come off illicit drugs over and above licit drugs because there is massive societal stigmatisation of illicit drugs and large investment programmes to help people noyt just come off them but to transform their lives and I for one endorse and condone such use of resources.

    If you want to for instance come off SSRIs you will to this day have a struggle to even convince people you’re hooked when in fact you are indeed hooked.

    Imagine if someone trying to come off heroin was met with the same incredulity as someone wanting to get off SSRI.

  • “It may be the case that the “heavy cannabis use” is a coping mechanism for the “antipsychotic use”. That makes sense.”

    Only half makes sense. The other half is:

    It may be the case that the antipsychotic use is a coping mechanism for the heavy antipsychotic use.


    There likely is a small number — a very small number — of people that use one drug to counter the effects of the other drug and that stopping one drug would result in a dependence on two drugs being resolved.

    Yet as that stands true for a very tiny number of people this observation is useless for most of the people affected, most of the time.

  • Steve McCrea wrote: “Actually, I don’t think you get what I’m saying. I’m not suggesting that “lived experience” per se automatically gives one natural authority.”

    Many of these problems raised by Sera yourself myself Dr David Cooper and Judi Chamberlin and many of the articles on Mad in America will be resolved by a human rights-based structured and implemented mental health institution.

    The kind of restructuring that someone like Dr Dainius Pūras is working towards.

    For example the appeals process is an existing process within the institution in which decisions can be reviewed. That process is currently weakened by the absence of a human rights focused approach. And will inevitably be strengthened by one.

    Particularly as the institution will be vulnerable to new ways of litigation. Although finding a balance poses a potential nightmare as it is possible that the institution could become crippled by human rights challenges…

    Happy Christmas.

  • “There is such a thing as legitimate authority, but it’s not based on a person’s degree.”

    I see discussions are continuing to go around in circles.

    An authority in any hierachical institution is legitimate because they have been legitimised by the institution to be an authority, and authorised by the institution to command power.

    Walk into any institution and you can attempt to cause mayhem by pointing out the arbitrariness. And miss the whole point of an institution.

    This is the problem of reform. The lesson learned by Dr David Cooper.

    And why eventually Judi Chamberlin came along and wrote On Our Own.

    If we do not know history and learn from it we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.

    If you want a libertarian non-hierachical grouping of mad people and non-mad people then your best bet I believe is to set up some custom Sims world and let it run.

    After a very short amount of time you will end up with a very wooden and strange-looking simulation because in the absence of hierarchy humans can’t be human (and simulacrums can’t be simulacrums).

    The whole pretence of a non-hierarchical or equal social group is pure libertarian or anarchic fantasy. Some people are more capable than others. Some people are more socially skilled or socially cunning than others and that fact alone creates tensions that lead to power imbalances.

    The healthiest hierarchy is one which is regulated independently, where the fight against corruption, nepotism, cronyism and so on is ongoing, where power is accountable, and where values aren’t simply statements but actual cultural norms.

    What Sera and yourself seem to be suggesting is that mental health institutions must restructure themselves in such a way that a small minority of people-with-a-personal-experience should be given more or at least equal power and this would make the institution more legitimate and the rationing of authority more credible.

    Such that for instance if someone wished to take on a powerful position in a mental health institution they would progress their career by having a severe mental breakdown?

    And that no-one should be in a powerful position in mental health purely on the basis of achieving a respected position in society through hard study and training?

    And this would make everything more valid and legitimate?

    “I don’t like to be the least powerful person in the room,” says the person in the room that allows a tiny minority into the room and excludes the vast majority of others…

    There are people who are asked to comde forward over and over, the same faces over and over, and they do not represent myself or anyone I know, they represent themselves and their personal agenda.

    Drs for instance are expected to be trying for neutrality and reaching for objectivity. In psychiatry they are chosen to represent a cultural narrative which satisfies the state and the judicial system and the public.

    Not sure how someone-of-mental-illness-experience so to speak can be thought of as more legitimate when they will likely not satisfy the state and the judicial system and the public with a narrative appropriate to a Drs level of power.

    Not convinced the the state and the judicial system and the public would be comfortable with a shifting of institional mental health setting power to people who have attained that power by having severe mental difficulties. I do not see anyone being much convinced or persuaded or reassured even by such a shifting of power in our mental health settings.

    Which again Judi Chamberlin recognised decades ago, as did Dr David Cooper and others. Cooper hung up his hat on the matter, Chamberlin went full-on breakaway anarchic.

    And since then all independent models of mental healths settings have been collaborative with existing conventional hierarchical settings. And those that are argued as truly independent never worked, perished quite rapidly, descended into chaos.

  • Thanks for clarifying, Sera. You’ve given me a number of mental jolts in a good way. Just that it’s going to take a while to think through them.

    The in the meantime observation is this:

    You are very much it seems to me in alignment with the revolutionary ideas of Dr David Cooper and his attempts to strip away power at Villa 21.

    There are multiple accounts as always stertching the full spectrum of failure to success but for me the most telling aspect is that overall when people are in chronic or acute stress states one of the most humane things you can often do for them is to reduce the burden of decision-making.

    Which is perhaps why the patients at Villa 21 conspired to reinstate power differentials because the stress of their troubles was already enough to be dealing with.

    I agree with you that power differnetials are often best kept in the light and under review and discussion because these can often be the source of repeating pain and strife, especially but not only for those with histories of severe abuse.

    However stark power differentials are not automatically sources of abuse and something to be eradicated.

    In all groups there are orderings of leaders and followers, thinkers and doers, peacemakers and peacebreakers, loyalists and traitors and so on.

    I’m perhaps not the best to comment on groups because I don’t like being in them. I don’t mix well with others, am not much of a social being even if at times I can perform a pretty convincing mimicry of one.

    Happy Christmas.

  • I would also demand that all in attendance made available full and complete access to

    – all their bank records and credit files
    – their entire internet history
    – their complete school record
    – their complete record of all encounters with law enforcement, any fines and convictions etc
    – their entire phone call history and SMS history
    – a summary of all their significant relationships
    – a complete record of their passport history
    – a complete record of their ANPR data
    – their DNA profile
    – their complete medical history including psychiatric history if they have one

    Then we’d be equally open and good to go.

  • I have indeed seen Daniel Mackler’s Open Dialogue film and I have read reams of Open Dialogue texts and I can proclaim with utter sincerity that I still don’t have a clue what it is.

    I have attempted discussion numerous times with Open Dialogue excitables online to ascertain what it is and have never succeeded in ascertaining what it is.

    And two years ago I had the opportunity to speak one to one with someone not only trained but also working in an Open Dialogue system and they were not only unwilling to explain what it is but actually became so hostile I was readying my Jiu Jitsu in readyness, they were that wired.

    What I do know is that no two people speak the same things about it and all my anxieties about ripping up the legacy of Bakhtin were and remain legitimate.

    I think if you aspire to transparency and equality then a quicker and unimaginably more sincere route other than offering oneself over on first name terms would be to just hand out a resume which noted payscales and investment interests. Then take it from there,

    Might also be helpful to be forthcoming about voting habits, political allegiance and private member groups.

    I’d like an Open Dialogue for example in which people were transparent about Freemason membership and any affiliation whatsover with secret services.

    Of course that’s where supposed openness breaks down and it’s pretty much game over exactly at the point you needed game on.

  • Steve McCrea wrote: “The first step toward neutralizing one’s subjectivity is to notice that it exists.”

    The second step is abandoning the violence of neutralising subjectivity. You’ll permanently scar the psyche or at best leave blemishes that won’t budge.

    Steve McCrea then wrote: “Those who assure you they are “objective” are usually the most dangerous of all!”

    Aye, indeed. A subject claiming objectivity is a menace, no doubt.

  • I don’t have a problem with medical doctors insisting on calling themselves or being addressed by others as Dr.

    I do have a problem with non-medical doctorate-holders insisting on being a Dr, especially in the health fields, as I consider that to be a cynical attempt at deception, rightly or wrongly, it’s how it comes across to me.

    Dr Who is a non-doctor but is also non-human and non-actual so I can forgive them for the adoption of the prefix.

    Dr Seuss too, likewise.

    But the Dr title is so often used by people selling snake oil, by New Agers scraping the bottom of the barrel of legitimacy that restrictions on use should be imposed.

    As for feeling a power imbalance with a Dr in the room. Well, that’s likely because there is one. They do have more power. They’ve been entrusted with it. Same as the classroom. There is usually at least one person in a classroom entrusted with more power. Same in a Presidency. A boardroom. A prison. The military. There are echelons, almost always for good reason.

    Doctorates can be purchased online for little money from enterprising New Age colleges. Get one of them and call yourself a doctor. That will wash away naming convention anxieties. The power balance won’t be affected.

    “O… I didn’t realise you were a doctor.”
    “Yes, Dr. I am a Dr. Just like you.”
    “Doctor of what?”
    “That’s irrelevant. I’m a Dr, just like you. I’m equally powerful.”
    “Doctor of what?”
    “Never you mind.”
    “I’d like to know. I’m a doctor of medicine and you?”
    “I’m a Dr of Ancient Quantum UFO Ching.”

    Yeah right…

  • l_e_cox wrote: “That mileage really impresses me. 10X anything I ever do on my bicycle. Staying in good control over the body does tend to give one a “sense of achievement.”

    Long-distance endurance cycling is an addiction. Make no bones about it. When I started out 12 months prior to UK’s first coronavirus lockdown I thought 100 miles in one day was an impossible goal. I got to 30 and felt so proud. Then I found the cycling community and was humbled.

    Everyone has different reasons to push themselves physically, which also necessarily involves pushing yourself mentally. Your body strengthens and your mind does too. This isn’t for everyone but many people wonder what it is that is missing from their lives and end up misdirecting their energies and placing all their chips on a self-defeating addiction.

    There have been blogs on here that don’t arouse much discussion or acknowledgement by people that have found the solace of endurance sport and adventuring as the answer to a gnawing pain that was slowly destroying them.

    I think that more opportunities should exist in mental health systems to point people towards endurance and fitness pursuits. It won’t cure and in some ways may arrive at similar contentedness to popping pills.

    But many people would do better to scale the mountain or hike the trail and so on, and look back on that, and experience that within themselves, as opposed to shortcutting with pill-pops and drug-induced accomplishments.

  • Quantum Theory has nothing to say about human relationships. Nothing whatsoever.

    New-Agers that have bitten off more than they can chew have a lot to say about how Quantum Theory affects human relationships.

    Or in other words, many people who are not Quantum Theorists have bastardised Quantum Theory to attempt to legitimise or otherwise give a sciencey veneer to their hardcore Woo.

    Although the Observer does change the Observed. And the Observed changes the Observer. Personally I think this observation is more useful when applied to the effects of the surveillance state and surreptitious surveillance in general on the human psyche.

    Otherwise we’d be reinventing the wheel. Transference and Countertransference is well-established. As are all the many and various attributional and confirmation biases. As are expectancy effects.

    The notion of neutrality or objectivity is something aspirational, rather than attainable. It’s something to strive towards (when necessary) with at-best effort. But no-one can transcend their subjectivity. Although plenty enjoy claiming that they can and then spending much of the rest of their life dodging scrutiny.

  • Much history is the history of mass psychosis and what happened next. That’s the good and the bad.

    All the obvious examples but I think the most egregious are often the most telling.

    For instance, the grieving widow I once encountered whose husband had his skull battered by a mob who were very upset about two things: their football team had lost 1-0; and that the woman’s then husband had a scarf on that vaguely matched the colours of the opposing football team.

    Wrong place, wrong time but the widow’s husband didn’t have any interest in football. He was making his way home after work. He’d gone off his usual track to detour to a florist.

    Fleeting psychosis doesn’t get much press.

    We don’t mass drug to prevent psychosis because, as I’m sure you know already, so much depends on mass delusion. Without delusion and self-deception, everything would fall apart.

    So to glue society together we agree on acceptable delusions and deceptions.

    Psychosis is non-acceptable delusion and deception. It’s only ever a situational circumstantial phenomena.

    But yes absolutely the determination of psychosis is arbitrary. There’s no escaping that. How could there be?

    But on the other hand the woman that mistook her infant child for firewood should not be thought of as simply eccentric.

  • It’s okay. I misread people too. We all do.

    Just to clarify, as you never know what scoundrels are watching you and waiting to trip you up. I’m not on holiday, haven’t been on holiday. Holidays are banned in the UK. Unless you are in the Upper or Political classes. It was a 107 mile day ride. It’s a hobby I took up a while ago. Since lockdown my stamina has been steadily rising.

    I think by Spring I’ll be doing 200 mile day rides.

    All being good I’ll be realising my dream of hiking Yellowstone National Park, albeit riding it now I’ve knackered my Achilles.

    Nothing works. But there are lots of things that can make you feel really good and give a sense of achievement.

    Cycling the English Winter isn’t for everyone but for some of us it’s a wonderful natural high and a great way to meditate on life and death and encounter the ego-driven maniacs in their cars.

  • If you hear despair then you are falsely attributing. I am not despairing and I’m not in despair. I certainly wasn’t in despair when I write it as I’d just completed a 107 mile bicycle ride and was feeling somewhat buzzed.

    You missed my overall point. A 107 mile bicycle ride or a 10 hour binge on American lager (lol!) or an argybargy meditation on argybargyness or 6 months of popping pills fixes nothing but they all bring us that little bit closer to death.

    My point is probably no more vivid than before I commented. Never mind. Happy Christmas.

  • Any psychoactive substance is *potentially* addictive.

    This to include most foodstuffs. As most foodstuffs have psychoactive effects.

    Then almost anything we experience is also *potentially* addictive as anything experiential can become compulsively compelling.

    This is why there is a masturbating to porn epidemic in the western world. And also why pushers of non-nutritious edibles scrape in billions of revenue every year.

    The human is an addictive being. We are hardwired to attach to things over and over like hatchlings. Look at all the moronic computer gamers in their 30s 40s 50s 60s… basically still in the childhood toybox and they claim to know no better.

    Addiction is a complex beast. Ask any Trump supporter…

  • In actuality, in all humble reasonableness:


    Absolutely nothing.

    We humans cannot be resolved. We can’t be fixed. We’re utterly broken.

    Anyone that claims to be fixed well… you’d do well to measure their sensitivities and so on… but really, realistically, what’s been fixed? What’s been sorted out?

    There are some things that need shifting around, some energies need shifting, redirecting, refocusing but in no way is anyone fixable. You start out broken and you end up broken. There is no way out of that banal curse.

    Do drugs work?

    O yes absolutely and often they do wonders. Undeniable wonders.

    It’s why they remain super super popular and will go on to be.

    There is no right drug for you but there are drugs that are a pretty good fit for the moment so off ye go merrily with the rest of us to death.

  • With respect, if you re-read the article you’ll discover multiple references to alternative organisations, small and large, that suppress and cover-up and casually brush away wrong-doing. My suggestion is in relation to those specific problems.

    In fact there is a hint in the article that a percentage of monies that flow to these alternative organisations should be used to tackle the problems of corruption.

    And the best way to do that, in terms of transparency and justice, is for the investigation to be carried out by a truly independent body.

    As sam plover points out, that independent body is also prone to corruption. That is why it must itself be independent, transparent, and reformed from top to bottom, every few years, lest it stagnates.

    I have no idea how to regulate and make indivividuals responsible other than through recourse to existing Laws that offer some protection to the vulnerable.

  • Will Hall wrote: “Our movement needs to address its corruption problem.

    So, what should we do?”

    Regulation, regulation, regulation. Some kind of professional body that oversees those working in the alternative roles in mental health. People and organisations sign up to it. It strives to act as an assurance of quality and decent standards. And to become recogniseable and trusted as such.

    Whisteblowers welcome. Investigations fair and proportionate. Penalties available for the worst and repeat offenders.

    Unregulated professions are invariably the most corrupt.

  • Given the toxic environment and the toxic food-chain it is probably not wise to discount the harm being inflicted on children, including their brains.

    Otherwise, this is deeply disturbing and reminds me that things could be much worse in the UK:

    Girl, 6, ‘locked up’ in mental health facility for ‘throwing temper tantrum at school’

  • ADHD in children is basically a social means to an end. You get the diagnosis, the doors swing open to obtaining the drugs.

    Intuitively most people are horrified at the thought of giving potent stimulant drugs to children. They consider the ADHD to simply be a way of pathologising and using drugs to mask a psychological and social problem.

    Personally I think there is way more to it. There are lots of controversial drugs in the USA food chain, and lots of places with extreme problems of environmental pollution, that are long established as having the potential to cause congenital problems, brain damage and behavioural and developmental issues in children.

    These problems cannot be address through therapy. One cannot receive psychotherapy for being poisoned, by lead or other heavy metals. One cannot receive therapy for the problems stemming from ingesting hormones, and pesticides and so on, that penetrate the blood-brain barrier, and wreak havoc.

    So, unless the bigger picture is addressed, everyone is going to be chasing their own tail, some going clockwise, some going anticlockwise, and barking at one another to change direction.

  • It was pointed out to me that if no-one had a child for 50 years there would be no-one viable left to have a child, and so the last checkout would begin. Fair point.

    The need to bring new people into the world may increase during times of existential dread. It’s probably biological and thus to be expected. These days Africa is well-fed yet undernourished in many countries. So the kids have stunted growth and impaired intellectual development. Meanwhile millions of tonnes of nutritious African food-stuffs are exported, and billions of dollars of African wealth shared out amongst the major banks and investment companies, who use the cash to fund lavish lifestyles, cocaine habits, and to fund some half-hearted ethical start-ups that appear and fade faster than the average persons’ western conscience gets troubled by global corruption.

    The Eugenicists are back making dark claims about genetic determinism. It’s the same-old same-old self-serving shite that blames the poor for poverty and all the trappings that come with it.

    I despise and adore this planet and this existence and all people on it in equal measure. There is a man that walks around London pontificating with his megaphone and in recent weeks he’s joined the call advocating for human extinction. He encourages passersby to contemplate suing their parents for emotional damages for bringing them into this world, without choice or consiseration, reuslting in all their misery, woes, struggles, heart-ache, and the final kick in the teeth: having to come to terms with death.

    It’s not like people haven’t spread these messages before. Obviously with the apocalypse getting ever nearer, the siren calls grow ever louder.

    We are probably in a simulation inside a simulation inside a simulation, ad infinitum. If so, where are the cheat codes? How do I hack this nightmare into something less horrific without recourse to drugs and/or alcohol?

    I have no idea whatsoever, sam plover, continually.

  • 6% is very low, if it’s a figure from a population of people taking stimulant ADHD drugs. That’s 6 in 100.

    “Population-based surveys show that the prevalence of psychotic symptoms may be far greater than had been previously considered, with a meta-analysis suggesting a prevalence rate of 5%–8% in the general population (which is nearly 10 times higher than the prevalence of diagnosed psychotic disorders). Prevalence rates of such symptoms may be even higher among young people. In 2000, Poulton and colleagues reported that 14% of 11-year-old children endorsed psychotic symptoms upon interview and showed that these symptoms were associated with a 5-fold to 16-fold increased rate of psychotic illness in early adulthood (depending on the strength of the initial symptoms). Since then, large, population-based studies surveying psychotic symptoms among adolescents have found rates of 9%–14% in interview-based studies and rates greater than 25% in some studies using self-report questionnaires. Positive answers on self-report questionnaires have been validated on clinical interview. This emerging body of research suggests that a sizable minority of young people experience psychotic symptoms.”

    So 6% is a lower incidence of psychosis than many other studies were finding in general and youngster populations.

    If that 6% statistic has any basis in reality, then it might even suggest that stimulant drugs in childhood to some degree *protect against* psychosis, utterly contradicting my and others’ idle musings.

    At the very least 6% suggests only that the rates of psychosis are consistent with what is commonly found, even in the absence of stimulant drugs prescribed to children.

    Psychotic Disorders in Children and Adolescents: A Primer on Contemporary Evaluation and Management


    There is far more psychosis being experienced than people diagnosed with psychotic illnesses because more people find ways of coping, hiding, enduring or capitalising on their psychoses than those who succumb to their experiences and end up in psychiatric care, or prison, or Death.

    The Hearing Voices Network has exposed how so many people of seemingly ordinary lives are sometimes experiencing extraordinary things and that it is not necessary to panic over each and every one of them.

    The moral dilemma is then should humanity seek to erase all psychotic experiences from the lives of children and adults?

    Are psychotic experiences somehow a necessary aspect of human experience?

    Is psychosis a dirty stain on humanity that must be cleansed?

  • @Geronimo

    Not just spouts. Cabbage, broccoli and turnips too. Just don’t boil them. To do so is to torture and kill all the goodies they offer. Steaming is best.

    Lifestyle choices are obviously going to be good for the body, the brain, general wellbeing. A lot of these excellent choices then get knocked out by polluted air and alcohol, but best try and run on a full tank in a polluted, dirty world, I reckon.

    I wonder what effects all the plastic particulates are having on our bodies and brains? The brassicas will be full of them.

    Thanks for the link. She talks too fast for me. But Youtube allows you to slow down or speed people up in the settings.

  • sam plover wrote “What collective absolute for distinguishing illness from non illness?>
    What do we call it when a collective noun causes abuses, control, lack of medical care, no rights left.
    We have as to date no studies done on shrinks that when removed from their jobs as shrinks, say over a ten year study of all shrinks (with no money in their accounts)
    How they function. What jobs they choose.

    Let us all be okay with psychiatry and the abuse, lies.
    But alongside of “schizophrenia”, let us list the lack of medical care that non criminals get, the clout and validity in court that non criminals receive.
    Let us be truthful that it is now a UN issue. To have an illness that presents “problems in thinking”, the onus to prove that it presents an inability to think logically or act logically in every single area, that onus is on who? How do we prove that?
    And so, if it is down to the word of a shrink, it is very obviously not proof.
    I see Britney Spears has few rights, or no rights, but she does not have schizophrenia.
    I also wonder why every man and his dog uses these words of illnesses to prove MI exists? It is the public bait word. “Anxiety” seems so average.”

    I believe that the study of language is worthwhile. And that such a study would settle a lot of these questions that you’re asking.

    Reading you I *feel* as best I can your anger about these issues concerning words and language and how words can oppress and abuse and hurt and trap.

    In terms of proving sanity or madness that’s only ever going to be a social and cultural set of problems, arbitrary decisions, and paradoxes.

    One way out of that is to accept that we are all of us broken, individually and collectively. And that humans are fundamentally self-deceived and self-deluded. Almost all that we hold as true and constant and reliable is anything but… however, we hold fast to our many delusions and deceptions, and if we didn’t, it’d be the worst nightmare you could ever imagine.

    I;ll close by confessing that I have no emotional or intellectual interest in Britney Spears. Every time her name is mentioned an infamous paparazzi image of her comes to mind and it wouldn’t be right to go about describing it but that ultimately is what she is to me. Although of course she is a human being, and I hope she has people in her life that love her and protect her and remind her to check herself before climbing out of the back seat of a limo.

  • Bradford wrote: “Sitting in a tub of bleach and scrubbing your skin off is an inherently illogical and irrational act. It can’t be understood logically and rationally. It can only be understood illogically and irrationally….”

    Now that there is some distance between myself and the previous self that performed that act, I can tell you with utmost sincerity that my insight at the time was perfectly logical and rational and very many people who’d followed a similar course that led up to that point would have done much the same, or worse. I’ve only ever encountered one similar narrative and that person chose to douse themselves in a flammable liquid, set themselves alight, and then quickly attempt to extinguish the flames. The insight they were working under was also, contextually, logical and rational.

    What was lacking was insight into impaired insight,

    It can often require a third party to perform that function. To assess whether someone has logically and rationally arrived at mentally healthy insight, or has in fact, an impaired mind, or as some perfer to call it, a mental illness.

    At the same time as such things were going on in my life I was submitting literary analyses that were praised.

    So it’s not like I had taken leave of all my faculties of reason or comprehension.

  • Nonstandard_Nolan wrote: “Lack of insight? I could almost laugh at the notion. How many human beings, mentally ill or otherwise, have that kind of insight? Very very few. To label a person schizophrenic because of that would seem beyond foolish to me.”

    I could give many personal examples. It’s not something I’m i the habit of doing so just this once I’ll choose one and then we’re done with it.

    I had become convinced that my body had been infiltrated by undetectable supernatural parasites. Or they may have been alien life-forms. I was undecided. Time went by and I ran a bath and half filled it with bleach and topped that up with hot water and I sat in it and I scrubbed off much of the outer layer of my skin.

    That, to me, was a lack of insight. Which really means that the intense insight I had, and the actions spurred on by those erroneous inisghts, were clearly a lack of insight into the fact my insight had become severely impaired.

  • Robert Whitaker wrote: “As is well known, antipsychotics and other psychiatric drugs change the brain. They perturb neurotransmitter systems, and in response, the brain goes through a series of compensatory adaptations in an effort to maintain a “homeostatic equilibrium.” At the end of this process, former NIMH director Stephen Hyman wrote in a 1996 paper, the brain is operating in a manner that is “qualitatively as well as quantitatively different from the normal state.”

    For instance, antipsychotics block D2 receptors. In response, the brain increases the density of its D2 receptors. Thus, anyone who is exposed to an antipsychotic for any length of time will have this unusually high density of D2 receptors, and this is just one of the many changes that will be induced by years of exposure to antipsychotics and other psychiatric drugs.

    As a result of this drug exposure, lumateperone was not being tested in “people with schizophrenia,” as though their brains were now in their original “disease” state. The drug was being tested in people whose brains had been dramatically remodeled by their years of exposure to antipsychotics and other psychiatric drugs, and if the patients in this study shared any common physiology, it was the abnormalities—such as an increase in D2 receptors—induced by exposure to the drugs.

    Everyone knows this. Yet this scientific elephant in the room is never discussed. Instead, the pretense is that a drug-washout design removes the effect of this prior drug use, and returns the study participants to a pristine “schizophrenia” physiology. This allows for claims that a drug has been tested for a “disease,” even though it is in fact being tested in a population of patients whose brains are “abnormal” because of their years of exposure to the drugs.”

    That’s the bit when a lot of minds spontaneously shut-down. I struggled for a long time trying to understand why that happens, so persistently, so predictably, especially in otherwise very intelligent, lucid and principled people. I knew it had to be something vaguely about self-deception. Herbert Fingarette’s meditations are helping, gradually.

    Thanks for this. It exposes the game in all its corrupt splendour.

  • Broken minds, broken hearts
    broken faces, broken art
    broken trust, broken dreams
    broken roads, broken streams
    broken rivers, broken trees
    broken kingdoms of birds and fish and bees
    broken chains, broken and lost and freed

    broken hopes, broken faiths
    broken leaders, broken graith
    broken families, broken homes
    broken children, broken moms
    broken fathers, broken roles
    broken windows, broken souls
    broken chains, broken and lost and freed

    broken connections, broken spines
    broken commitments, broken times
    broken sex, broken love
    broken feelings, broken wings of the dove
    broken Laws, broken Wars
    brokenness the theme connecting it all
    broken chains, broken and lost and freed

    you are broken, and I am too
    we are broken and theres nothing we can do
    we deny, we decry, we avoid and castigate
    we hide away from the brokenness thats innate

    broken concepts, broken mirrors
    broken heroes, broken fiends
    universal brokenness is the connecting theme
    broken days, broken nights
    broken kindness, broken spite
    broken zeal, broken gruel
    broken chains that relinquish the fool

    broken dreamers, broken visions
    broken thinkers, think broken thoughts
    broken revolutionaries wanna break whats broke
    broken conservative wanna keep whats broke
    but broken people, through and though,
    what can they gain but to break it all anew

    my broken heart, your broken ego
    my broken life, your broken boasts
    my broken smallness, your broken illusions of grandeur
    my broken happiness and your broken self-assured

    nothing left, but broken smiles
    no where to go under broken skies
    broken air breathed in broken lungs
    broken food chain, broken gums
    all is broken, it’s there to see
    any claim to being unbroken is broken’s epitome!

  • Al Galves wrote: “To equate what goes on in the mind or soul (I see them as synonyms) with “neurological events” is a huge mistake […] we have no idea […] about the relationship between the brain and the mind.”

    It’s interesting that you consider the terms mind and soul as synonyms. Some do, many don’t. My approach is that if you are referring to something non-supernatural you’d do well to dispense with the supernatural language. Puts a lot of confusion to bed.

    Besides, you’re overstating the progress of knowledge, or lack of it. We know that there is a generative relationship between the brain and what we come to experience as a mind. Many of the seeming functions of the mind are known to be localised in the brain. When there are damages to the brain those localised functions will diminish or disappear. I agree that we’re not yet at the point where we can confidently, accurately treat the brain to heal the mind. Besides, many of the ailments of a mind are social experiences.

    Club hammers have long been favoured by humans seeking something curative to bang against their skulls and these tried and tested methods of overcomingness continue to prove overall popular and seemingly usefulizing. Alcohol has long been the number one club hammer in the toolkit, and pharmacologists, in their zeal for new club hammers, have gifted and cursed the human race with many more.

    Are club hammers better than talking to someone trusted and full of wonderful lifestyle thought-space thinky-dinky ideas?

    Sometimes yes, club hammers are best. Without a doubt.

    “To think that studying the brain or neurology will help people live their lives in satisfying ways is to labor under the yolk of scientism – an exaggerated faith in the efficacy of the methods of natural science to understand social and psychological phenomena, solve pressing human problems and provide a comprehensive, unified understanding of the meaning of the cosmos.”

    At no point have I implied that neurology is able to solve peoples’ day-to-day problems.

    Psychotherpy was at its most honest in its earliest days. Then it was unabashed about using hypnotism and suggestive persuasion techniques to bring about supposed “change” in its clients. Most clients would be struck by short-termist intangibility, and, in their subtle foggy confusion, and subtle buzzy aliveness, would keep going back for more. Every profession desires a clientelle that attains the imperceptible, indescribable need for more.

    Hypnotism by the by is a very short-term outcome. Uncanny that hypnotism, very often, even when institituted by an experienced hypnotist, very often ends in the hypnotist also succumbing to hypnotism, and that they too need the client to top-up their hypnotic states. Mutuality or, in extremis, shared psychosis.

    There appears to be no substantive evidence that psychotherapy is transforming the world. This, despite the world never having been counselled as much as it is now. There is more psychotherapy dished out now than at any other point in human history. And what a sorry state of being the world of humanity is in. What a sorry state indeed.

    Now do I discount personal testimony? I am terrified by personal testimony about anything. The intensity of cognitive biases contained in such witness statements can seriously threaten my equanimity, if I haven’t taken all necessary precautions prior to the encounter.

    I wish you a variably emotioned New Year, and fingers crossed you are still alive by the end of it.

  • I wrote: “Everyone is broken and without soul.”

    Alex wrote: “To me that implies suffering, that’s the feeling I get from reading this statement. So do you think we’re doomed? Or is there anything at all that can bring hope for making this world a better place in which to live, so that people don’t go around feeling “broken,” but instead, inspired and motivated to create a more appealing, safe, and supportive social and world environment?”

    Human brokenness isn’t a feeling. It’s an individual and collective state of being. Not sure how anyone sincere about making the world a better place can do so without coming to terms with individual and collective human brokenness. Maybe that’s not entirely honest of me. I probably do know how people go forwards with such conceits with seemingly little awareness of how they are adding to the problem.

    Without coming clean about individual and collective human brokenness, the very inspirations you evoke to “create a more appealing, safe, and supportive social and world environment” cannot and will not be attained. Denying universal human brokenness is to leave much of the problem hidden and obscured, adumbrated.

    It’s no use starting out on any project of global enhancement heavily laden with denial and self-delusion. The world is a big place, comprised of small places, and there are local quirks that conflict and contradict. In some places actions to a better world would be felt locally as oppressive and denying, and in other places those self-same actions towards a better world would be intuited as helpful, locally.

    You asked, “Do you think we’re doomed?” and that *feels* like a loaded question, playing on the idea that you are the holder of positivity and I am the holder of negativity, when in fact such energies ebb and flow in everyone.

    Do I think we are doomed? You and I are doomed. I suspect you know that we each will die and that that will be the end of it and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Is the human race doomed? My answer to that is contained in my comments about human brokenness.

    I wish you a variably emotioned New Year, and fingers crossed you are still alive by the end of it. At the end of each year I appreciate how I’ve yet again managed to overstay my welcome on this sorry, despicable, beautiful planet, and I somehow sneak through into another year under the cover of darkness and the rubbernecking of fireworks, which shower down toxic chemicals on those gawping, broken people beneath them.